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Steelers re-sign Essex

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By Scott Brown
Monday, Aug. 22, 2011

The Steelers continued to sign their own free agents, as they agreed to a one-year contact with guard/tackle Trai Essex on Monday.

Essex, a third-round draft pick in 2005, is the 10th unrestricted free agent to re-sign with the Steelers.

Essex opened last season as the starter at right guard but eventually gave way to Ramon Foster at the position. He started five of the 12 games he played in 2010.

The Steelers released rookie guard Nevin McCaskill to make room for Essex on the roster. McCaskill had signed with the Steelers as an undrafted free agent.

The 6-5, 324-pound Essex has started 25 games in his six-year career. In addition to experience, Essex brings versatility to an offensive line that is dealing with an injury to starting left tackle Jonathan Scott.

Scott hyperextended his right knee early in the Steelers' 24-14 in against the Philadelphia Eagles last Thursday night. The injury isn't serious, but it is expected to sideline Scott for the Steelers' game against the Atlanta Falcons Saturday night at Heinz Field.

Among the 14 unrestricted free agents who played for the Steelers last season, Essex is the final one to sign with a team.

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